When you go on the road as much as I do … you learn to expect the unexpected. Plan for the worst … expect the best … as my mom would say.
A while back I scooted to Fresno to produce a television campaign for a culinary academy. The shoot was going swimmingly. I was working with a new spokeswoman who I officially adore … Kristi Capel, a former Miss Missouri. I had a top notch crew who catered to my every whim. And I had managed to visit every city in Northern California ending with an “O” sound. Sacramento. Tahoe. Modesto. Fresno.
On my twelfth day of successful shooting, I was on the very last take of my very last shoot. I was so close to being finito, I could physically taste it. Well, that … and I had champagne chilling back at the hotel.
Without warning, there was this horrible whiff of singed hair, sulfur and something that smelled like nuclear waste seasoned with nutmeg. I looked down to notice a power surge had smelted one of our power cords. Stupid electricity. Stupid spontaneous combustion. Clearly, I did not expect or plan for such an occurrence.
Now normally, I’m calm and collected under pressure. Not this time. I was flailing around and screaming “FIRE! FIRE!” Clearly, my flame burned brightly that day. Uh, more than usual.
One of the chefs heard all the commotion and came in. He calmly picked up the melting cord with his tongs … put it in a nearby skillet … turned on the overhead hoods … and offered to make S’mores over the burning embers. I politely declined. And by decline — I mean I was hyperventilating so much the chef couldn’t understand me.